Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy 2006!!!!!!!

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind...? What does this song mean? For my whole life, I don't know what this song means.

An interesting end-of-the-year meme: Post the first line of the first blog post of each month in 2005. A sort of Blog Year-in-Review, if you will.

January: New Year's resolutions are a big deal for me.

February: Things invented in the past few years that have revolutionized my life: all-day lipstick. The iPod. And wi-fi.

March: This Wednesday follows a 2-hour season premiere of The Amazing Race 7.

April: So, I'm assuming most if not all of you got my e-mail about the new job.

May: Greetings from foggy San Francisco.

June: Today is Michelle Phillips' birthday. Happy Birthday to 1/4 of the Mamas & the Papas!

July: So, I would like to take this opportunity (ibym opportunity... slow day at work) to expound for a moment on how much I hate shaking hands.

August: I haven't had quite as much down time as I thought I would have while at home.

September: A world without TiVo... is like a night without stars.

October: ***SPOILERS ahead***

November: "Given a chance and a rock see which one breaks a window, and see which one keeps me up all night and into the day."

December: What I did on my Thanksgiving Vacation, by Jamie Hawkins.

I hope everyone enjoys reading as much as I enjoy writing. Happy 2006, everyone, and God bless us everyone. *throws confetti*

Celebrity Look-Alikes

How much does our little Krysten resemble the actress Kelly MacDonald?

Does anyone else have a celebrity doppelgänger? I've been told I resemble this girl (her name is Olivia Burnett) and Punky Brewster. Whaddya think?

What are you doing New Year's, New Year's Eve?

My day started out so good!! Evan, Sandy, and I went to see the Old 97s last night with Scott and Kathryn- great show, plus breakfast at Cafe Brazil afterwards at 1am. It was awesome. Evan and Sandy spent the night and I slept really well for the first time in a long while. This morning, Evan and I walked to Tin Star for brunch, then got huge to-go coffees, and proceeded to walk about 2 miles up Cole and 2 miles back down McKinney, writing down numbers and addresses for all the apartments that were for rent. It's an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, windy day and the walk 'n talk with Evan was great. I folded up all the papers I had collected and put them in the back pocket of my jeans.

I get home and have LOST the papers. There must have been 25 numbers on there!!! I'm so bummed. It could be anywhere between here and Knox-Henderson. And most likely has blown away from wherever I dropped it. AARRGH. *slumps* Whyeee did I put them in my back pocket? I never put ANYthing in my back pocket. And I was CARRYING A PURSE. Ugh.

Also, my date/ride for the evening got stuck in Houston, and I promised Madison I wouldn't drive her Lexus on New Year's Eve. Soooo, looks like I'm in for the evening. Which, actually, I will undeniably enjoy, but it certainly sounds sad when I say it out loud. "What did you do for New Year's?" "Oh, I watched DVDs and drank champagne by myself." Geez.

Edited to add: Ree-an and Taylor ended up coming by around 10:30 and taking me to a party with a bunch of their friends from church. Scottie-san and Kathryn were there, so it was a fun time. We only stayed until about 12:30, so it didn't push my introverted boundaries too terribly far! The bottom line is I couldn't have cared less about the party... but pretty much, my friends rule.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fun with Sandy, Angela, Bill, Dick, & Jane

I went DVD crazy today.

First, I went to Best Buy to exchange the 2nd 5th Season of Gilmore Girls that I received. I exchanged it for the first 2 seasons of Arrested Development for an extra $11.... brilliant. Thanks Ju!

Then, Sandy told me that she had purchased the first 2 seasons of The West Wing at Sam's for $15 each. I, myself, was missing Season 2, so we went to get it for me. What else did I come across, but entire seasons of Friends for $18.88. I'm not lyin'! I already had 1-6, so I got seasons 7, 8, & 9. For some reason Season 10 was $30 so I waited on that one... once I get it my collection will be complete!

So, basically, I spent less than $100 today and got six entire seasons of television. I'm all atingle with glee.

I hung out with Sandy all day. We ran errands and sat on the porch and watched some Friends gag reels. We also had lunch with Angela and Baby Timothy, at Tin Star, natch, and then I went to Fun with Dick & Jane and dinner with Bill. Then we sat on the porch and talked. The movie was mediocre but my day was fan-freaking-tastic.

I love you, Texas!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

iPod takes over the world.

You knew it was going to happen. Even Krysten has one now. This week's news:

After a four-day overseas trip that took him to four countries in the Middle East, Vice President Dick Cheney really wanted to get his iPod charged for that long return flight to Washington. Since it is his plane, the vice president's iPod took priority and was plugged into one of the only working power outlets on Air Force Two, frustrating reporters who were trying to file stories.

Seriously?! I'm mostly wondering why Air Force 2 doesn't have enough power outlets for the press AND the Veep's music.

Here's a related story psychoanalyzing GW's playlist, a pastime which, btw, really creeps me out.

No day but today.

Some of you may be expecting my New Year's Resolutions soon. I know I usually share them, but I think I'm going to try and swing it solo this year. I'm not usually a very private person, and I think maybe that has put me in some tricky situations. I definitely have things to work on, but I'll be doing that nonpublic this time around.

The one I will share with you, which anyone who knows me well knows is always a goal of mine, is the reason I so titled my new blog: No day but today. If you're unfamiliar with the play (and now major motion picture) Rent, it's from the lyrics of one of my favorite songs:

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today.

The Latin way to say this theme is "carpe diem." The Psalms say "as for man, his days are grass" (103:15). The colloquial proverb is to "make lemonade." It's a universal sentiment, but however you want to word it, the gist is that life is short. Don't waste time being unhappy. Even when things don't go your way, it's nobody's fault but your own if you don't make the best of the situation. Every single minute is another chance to turn it all around. Dwelling on why I'm lonely or my less-than-perfect relationship with my mother or the fact that my career is not where I thought it would be at 29 is not really hurting anyone but me. I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining. I have the responsibility to change my life, my attitude, and perhaps, the world.

So, there you have it. My constant resolution.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Silent Night, Not-so-Silent Night

A very quick post, in case anyone is reading today. I've been sick this Christmas. I slept on and off almost all Christmas Eve (even missed It's a Wonderful Life; if you missed it, too, you can catch up in 30 seconds by clicking here), and woke up at 3am to lots of snoring in the tiny trailer, a dog jumping on my head, and the neighbors' dumb-ass rooster, who never seems to know what time it is. I was incredibly nauseated, probably due to the copious amounts of Zovirax coursing through my system on no food, but managed to make it through the night. Today I still have a fever and am glassy-eyed and a little spacy, but I managed to get myself to Houston this afternoon and am finally in the land of internet access again. Whew!

We had a lovely Christmas dinner at the Walkers' as we have done for the past couple of years, and I managed to get down more calories than I've had in the past 4 or 5 days combined. I'm sure I needed the nourishment but I'm feeling somewhat queasy now. Oh, we also played a new game called Apples to Apples and it was big fun. I am hoping for the sweet escape of sleep tonight.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The stars at night...

It's like a wasteland in here. I swear I just saw a tumbleweed blow by. Where's everyone??

I'm going to be MIA for a few days. I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow, but the good news is that I will be in Texas by lunchtime. Can you Yanks say barbecue? Incidentally, when I lived up north, I always thought it was funny that Yankees call "grilling out" a barbecue. "Hey, come over, we're barbecue-ing!" "Cool, what are we having?" "Hamburgers!" Wha? I'm having REAL barbecue tomorrow. None of that damn pulled pork either. Brisket on a white bun with pickles and onions. And potato chips. *mouth watering*

Anyway, I don't think I have a dial-up number for Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. Sooo, I may be offline until Sunday. That's crazy-talk, no? Call my cell phone if you need me; it works in the NW corner of the single-wide. I'll be in Houston Christmas Day, back to civilization and wi-fi and blog, sweet blog.

Merry Christmas!! XOXOX

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Night Five.

I can't sleep. I have pissed off the gods of insomnia and it's killing me. I lie down, I fall asleep, I wake up, I toss, I turn, I agonize. If I don't get at least 6 hours tonight I'm going to die, because Thursday I have to be at the airport early to catch my flight to Houston, and the next three nights will be spent at the Hawkins Family White Trash Trailer Bash in East Texas (yep, my dad is Hank Hill) and everyone, both human and canine, that lives in that trailer snores. Every one of them!! And there's just nowhere to go. I can't go into that on no sleep for a week. I'll never make it to Christmas Day.

Will a pharmacist please come online and let me know if I can mix Tylenol PM with liquor (I had some spiked wassail earlier)? *weg*

Christmas #1

So... I finally got my Christmas cards out. I'd like to apologize in advance for the glitter. I also mailed all the presents that had been ordered and were waiting here for me when I got back... except you Dallas girls; yours are in my bag. So, if you're expecting something from me, what are you waiting for? Go check your mail!!

Today was my first "Christmas"-- I have at least 2 more when I make the Texas rounds ("We are... an American family"). I made a pot roast for dinner and unsuccessfully tried to avoid opening presents while cameras were pointed at me. My niece is 7... and I have decided that presents are just more fun with kiddos around. We got my little sister a coat with a fur collar (no, not real), and she gasped "oh Mommy, that looks beautiful on you!" Awwwww. My OCD mother was cleaning up wrapping paper EVEN AS WE WERE RIPPING IT OFF, so I kept taking it out of the bag and throwing it back on the floor when she wasn't looking. Yes, I'm evil. I'm tres excited about the 5th season of Gilmore Girls that I got from Shan-do. Yes, Virginia, my entire life does revolve around television marathons.

So, I have this All Christmas All the Time playlist on my iPod, right? How I basically made it, was pulled everything that had "Christmas" or "holiday" anywhere in the info. Well... I happen to have the original Broadway soundtrack of Annie, which if you've never seen onstage, is a great deal more political than the movie version (which I also happen to adore). I heard tonight the razzle-dazzle FDR-singing-with-orphans finale, "We're Getting a New Deal for Christmas." HA! Classic.

What I learned today: Doc Marten's are not acceptable snow footwear.

Monday, December 19, 2005

For Krysten

Deck the blogs... since I can't find the crazy elaborate one that Sandy and I did a few years ago (does ANYONE still have it in their e-mail? please send it my way)... here's a shorter and sweeter Krystmas meme:

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Eggnog... or CIDER!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wraps them.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? all white, all the time
4. Do you hang mistletoe? If I'm having a party.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Sometime after Thanksgiving, and it always involves Christmas music, and bloody marys. What? It's a tradition!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My mom makes reindeer food- like chex mix but covered in white chocolate. It's the only thing she cooks, like, all year.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Well, not as a child... I was about 20. But my grandparents were always really into Christmas and decorated to the nines... the year they both had cancer I went to their house for Thanksgiving, and decorated for them. It was just the three of us; we had Thanksgiving dinner at the Cracker Barrel, lol, but they sat in their recliners and told me where to hang every light and put up every ornament and it was freaking exhausting and hilarious and one of my most special memories.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? what do you mean... truth about Santa?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I used to get pajamas when I was little... probably so I would be presentable for photographic and home video posterity. Yeah, like THAT worked.
10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Whatever we happened to be eating at the time. I think we left venison jerkey out once. And always a COKE, 'cause everyone knows that Santa Claus drinks Coke.
11. Snow! Love it or hate it? Only if I'm on skis.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I can't possibly narrow that down. Yeah, that's a cop-out. But it's true!
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays to you? Being surrounded by people I love.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Petit fores.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Some of my all-time favorites were with my girlfriends when we were all single... like our cards, and our cd exchange... But at my dad's we have chili and a movie on Christmas Eve. I think it started as an easy way to feed a lot of people, but it's tradition now. Not a Christmas movie, either - one year it was Cliffhanger, lol. It's very fun.
17. What tops your tree? Last year we had Walt Whitman, the garden gnome. I don't have my own tree-topper; I should get one before next year.
18. Which do you prefer--GIVING OR RECEIVING? Giving. In fact, I love to watch everyone open presents... and I get really self-conscious when people watch me.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Seriously? Like I can pick.

20. Candy Canes-- Yuck or Yum? YESSSSS!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

'cause we need a little Christmas...

I was walking through the airport this morning and they were, of course, playing cheesy Christmas music. People are starting to visit for the holidays... and everyone at the airport was so excited and greeting each other with joy and glee. I was, as usual, all by myself, and Nancy Wilson's "Christmas Waltz" was playing as I walked by the ugliest Christmas tree I'd ever seen- all big purple bows, ick, and a big fat tear rolled down my cheek, because I realized that I'm not really looking forward to the holidays at all. It's so very unlike me that I can't even tell you why, but I just haven't had time to get into it this year, with no parties, no shopping, no decorating. Can you believe that Jamie Hostess-with-the-Mostest has no holiday parties??

So tonight I came back to Ohio, and there's snow everywhere, and my mom's house is all decorated... and I sat down to wrap all my presents and drink some wassail and listen to my "All Christmas all the Time" playlist... and ever so slightly, it's creeping in.

The picture above is my tree last year. I love ornaments, and collect at least one each year that means something to me. I can tell you where and when I got every single ornament on my tree, and why it's important to me. If you can tell, there's a Guatamalan friendship bird, which is made from the scraps of leftover sewing fabric (South American gift shop, Philadelphia, 2003), the Chrysler building, my favorite building in New York (NYC, 2004), Harry Potter and the Mirror of Erised (my mom, 2001), and a ceramic Snoopy bell (my grandparents, the early 80s). I am certainly missing it right now... I love to look at it and mull over all the memories wrapped up that tree.

Following are lyrics to "We Need a Little Christmas" - from Mame. Sums up about how I feel this year. Looking forward to seeing all of you really soon... Texas may not be my home at the moment, but it's where my heart is, and undoubtedly where I'll find the rest of my Christmas spirit.

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
It hasn't snowed a single flurry,
But Santa, dear, we're in a hurry;
So climb down the chimney;
Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.
For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now!!

In other news, I came home to my Christmas present to myself, the 5th season of The West Wing on DVD. Guess what I'll be doing for the rest of the week?

Friday, December 16, 2005

R.I.P. John Spencer

John Spencer, 58, died today, of a sudden heart attack.

Mr. Spencer has been in many plays & over 30 movies, including The Rock & Forget Paris, but is probably best known for his TV work, in L.A. Law, and most recently, The West Wing. He's been nominated for 5 Emmys (won 1), 1 Golden Globe, and 5 Screen Actor's Guild awards (won 2) for his role as West Wing Chief-of-Staff Leo McGarry.

Ironically, Mr. Spencer's character on TWW, Leo, had a heart attack 2 seasons ago, and resigned from his post as Chief of Staff. This season he was chosen as the vice-presidential running mate to Jimmy Smits' Matt Santos. One of Leo's last lines in the latest episode, when asked to take on the campaign manager's duties (and stress) was: "You're all trying to kill me."

John Spencer was a great actor and a classy man. Rest in peace.

Vegas, baby, Vegas!

OK, kids, I've done it. I've managed to spend an entire week in Las Vegas, and never actually see Las Vegas. Seriously. I haven't breathed fresh air since I checked in. I've only worked, slept, and walked the "streets" of "Paris."

It's still pretty Vegas-y, though, for Paris. Check out the ashtray BESIDE the no-smoking sign. Classy!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Big Book of Grievances, Chapter 2.

For Scott.

Scott and I have been talking about unnecessary abbreviations and acronyms. Like, in this day of e-mail and instant message (the key word there being "instant")- we still have to shave valuable milliseconds off our communication by typing things like "Thx." (Btw, ("by the way") this is one of Scott's pet peeves; if you are truly thankful for something he did, take the time to type all the letters in the word.)

I, personally, can't stand it when ppl use "u" for "you" and "2" for "two" but things like "LOL" ("laugh out loud") and "IMO" ("in my opinion") don't bother me. Things abbreviated to sound like everyday speech are fine (" 's no biggie") but things that are just plain stupid ("kewl"- seriously. WTF? self-explanatory?) are not.

That being said, before the age of e-mail, I often wondered what the "@" symbol was all about. It takes the same number of keystrokes to type it, so what's the deal? You need to abbreviate a 2-letter word? But, it's turned out to be one of the most widely used grammatical marks in today's society, so I guess it worked out OK. The ampersand, though... again. You deleted one keystroke and 2 characters. Worth it? I think not. YMMV ("your mileage may vary").

TTFN! ("Ta-ta for now.")

ETA: ("edited to add"): My favorite Scottie-ism re: (regarding) this topic: " 'w/' versus 'with' - this has always appealed to me, maybe because it's strangely fitting that a slash can help represent this particular word. Perhaps it's like saying that by adding the sign for division (/), we're implying that it takes more than one part to make what we're describing complete. Bagel w/ cream cheese, separately only a fraction of the delightful complete whole. Mmmmm, bagel."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"My Big Book of Grievances"

So, everyone's obsessive-compulsive about something. Whether it be your iTunes being kept tidy, or your bed being made every morning, or racing back to the couch before the toilet has finished flushing, or buttoning and zipping your jeans before they go in the washing machine... every one has a thing. (And yes, every one of those is one of you and you know who you are.)

I may be a tad more orderly than others, but only in certain ways. Yes, I like my cds in alphabetical order. By artist. Within artist, they go chronologically. Books are shelved by genre. I have to unpack everything and put it in drawers when I check into a hotel, even if I'm only there for a couple of nights. I refuse to flip on the TV and watch a movie from the middle.

But I'm not crazy-OCD as a rule. I don't have to lick light switches or count prime numbers or turn off the radio on a verb. My iTunes disarray would send some of you into a frenzy and I haven't made my bed (barring clean sheets, visitors, or room check - Go Tigers!) since the Reagan administration.

BUT, I do have one really strange thing. When I'm in the shower, and washing, I like to soap up my ENTIRE SELF before rinsing off. I have no idea why. But I have, for as long as I can remember, stepped out of the water stream to lather up all over, and then step back under it to rinse off. Go ahead, laugh and laugh. I'm aware that it's abnormal.

So, I'm staying at the Paris this week, and it has a big fancy bathroom with a large tub and a separate, glassed-in shower. Which is astetically pleasing, but not so practical, especially for someone who has to balance on one leg to shave. Additionally, I have no where to step out of the shower spray to wash as it fills the entire cubicle. I am forced to wash and rinse simultaneously.

It's going to bug me all week.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

iPod wisdom

Thanks Kiddo!

You always knew your iPod was convenient, awesome, and fun... but did you know how intuitive and prophetic it could be? Read on...

Unless otherwise noted, songs are listed [Title], [Artist], [Album].

How many songs: 4980

Sort by song title:
First song: 'Deed I Do, Diana Krall, Live in Paris
Last song: Zoo Station, U2, Achtung Baby

Sort by time:
Shortest Song: Gravy, The Monkees, Head- 6 sec (I had to take out the 5-second iTrip Stations)
Longest Song: Mozart's Requiem- 1 hr, 3 min, 38 sec

Sort by album:
First Song: Thunder Road, Cowboy Junkies, 'Neath Your Covers Part 1
Last Song: Tomorrow, Death Cab for Cutie, You Can Play These Songs With Chords

Sort by artist:
First Song: I'm Not in Love, 10cc, Virgin Suicides
Last Song: In the Waiting Line, Zero, Garden State

Sort by date added:
First Song: La Valse De Vieux Os, Yann Tierson, Amelie
Last Song: The Meaning of Christmas, Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas

Top five most-played songs:
(Not wholly accurate because as I keep my music files on an external drive that stays at home, on the road I play off my iPod through my iTunes, and it doesn't update either "most-played" list. If it did, you would see 5 Christmas songs.)
1. Shed a Little Light, James Taylor, New Moon Shine
2. Take Your Mama Out, Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sister's
3. Someone to Watch Over Me, Blossom Dearie, Songs of the Sirens: Her Own Story
4. Frank Sinatra, Cake, Fashion Nugget
5. The Air That I Breathe, The Hollies, Virgin Suicides

First song that comes up on shuffle: Stayin' Alive, The Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever (hee!)

Search, how many songs come up?
sex: 5
death: 4
love: 259
you: 500
me: 722

Shuffle and Ask:

What do you think of me, iTunes?

God Only Knows, The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds
(it really did!! *wink*)

Will I have a happy life?
At Last, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The 40's: The Glenn Miller Orchestra

What do my friends really think of me?
Foolish Games, Jewel, Pieces of You
(Haha. And ha.)

Do people secretly lust after me?
Miss Otis Regrets, Ella Fitzgerald, First Lady of Song
(Be scared. Be very, very scared.)

What should I do with my life?
Getting Better, Paul McCartney, Back in the U.S. Live 2002

Why must life be so full of pain?
Stop, Look, Listen, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, Bridget Jones's Diary
(iPod, thou art wise beyond your years.)

Will I ever have children?
Naked as We Came, Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

Will I die happy?
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Carly Simon, Sleepless in Seattle

Can you give me some advice?

Love Me Like a Man, Diana Krall, The Girl in the Other Room
(And HA!)

What do you think happiness is?
The Puppy Song, Harry Nilsson, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night
(and awww!)

What's my fetish?
Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby, The Andrews Sisters, Their All-Time Greatest Hits
(oh, seriously!?)

Am I a complete freak?
Faith My Eyes, Derek Webb, Jamie's Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time

That about sums it up. My iPod knows me better than I know myself.

Baby, it's cold outside

I worked until 10pm last night so I had another day off today. I know that sounds great when I've been working so much, but it's not so wonderful by yourself in a strange town (that's 20 degrees and covered with snow, natch,) especially when you have so many things to be doing at home. (And yes, I use the term "home" loosely.) All I want for Christmas is an apartment. That, and that all my stuff would magically disappear from its storage unit in Nowhere, Ohio, and appear in the new magic Christmas apartment, unpacked, dusted, and set up in its right place. That'd be cool. Forget the blender and the golf bag, Santa! I changed my mind!

Anyway, instead of venturing out into D.C. for another day of wind, cabs, and crowded museums, I finished up some work, packed, worked out, read, went out to an Ethiopian restaurant with my friend Justin, and got back just in time for The West Wing, which I must say, brought a little tear to my eye. Do we know for SURE that this is the last season? 'Cause I would certainly like it to go on with Santos and Leo (and Josh, C.J., Donna, Annabelle, Charlie, Will, and Kate -- btw, I'm enjoying the interaction between those two). And then after THOSE 8 seasons... Sam Seaborn for President! *wink* And then... C.J.! She ROCKED her fancy dress tonight, as always. Did anyone else notice the "I wish she [C.J.] would run for something" quote? Hmmmmm. I think they already have that show, though.

I've added a NotifyList icon down on the left column. Just enter your e-mail address to be notified when the blog is updated, if you liked that option over at Friendster. Don't worry, nobody else gets your address. I've also imported some of my old posts from Friendster. Just the greatest hits. I'm not going to delete the Friendster blog, though, because I couldn't let go of the comments, especially like on the Friends quote-off, etc. We had some good times, that blog and I. I'm just not ready to cut the apron strings.

Teaser: O'Scott has "rented" some blog space for the next post... so stay tuned. [Irish accent]It'll beh gr-reat![Irish accent]

Friday, December 09, 2005

My day off.

So, today I had the day off. A rarity for me on showsite, but considering I worked almost 50 hours Mon-Thurs... I got it. And instead of what I wanted to do (sleep in and wear pajama pants all day), I decided to actually have a Jamie-Day-o'-Fun.

Except... I woke up at 6am. And proceeded to toss and turn until 8:30. Bah. However, I met my old friend Sylvain from Montreal (who is in D.C. on business) for brunch at a French cafe in Georgetown; we had crepes. (Sandy, remember those crepes in Central Park? Mmmmm.) Then I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I always love the dinosaurs, but the Smithsonian doesn't hold a candle to the Museum of Natural History in NYC (my absolute favorite museum, ever; it has the life-size replica of the great blue whale [the size of 26 African elephants!], the Rosen Space Center with that awesome universe perspective exhibit and "THE HALL OF BIO-DIVERSITY" which I always have to say in a James Earl Jones voice)... so I went to the Insect Hall, got sufficiently creeped out, the Gem Hall where I saw the Hope Diamond, a new exhibit on Sikhs- the Legacy of Punjab, and a great National Geographic photography exhibit. I had planned on seeing a movie in the afternoon.... *drum roll* The Chronicles of Narnia.

So, I had looked it up online and saw that it was playing every hour, so I didn't bother writing down the schedule and just went to the theater when I was done at the museum. I got there around 2 and lo and behold, I had missed the 1:35 and the next showing wasn't until 3:20. The ONLY hour all day long it didn't start. It was freezing and ridiculously windy outside, and I was a long way from the hotel, so I decided to see Syriana, which got out at 3:55 and run into the 3:50 Chronicles of Narnia.

Syriana was good but quite honestly, I don't know a lot about the oil and gas industry and most of it was over my head. The cast was fantastic but there were several storylines and most of them didn't really intersect so I was a little confused... possibly also because I was so distracted about NARNIA!

Ohmigah, you guys. As most of you know, this is one of my favorite books of all time. I even did a senior honors research project on it in college. I have been waiting for this movie for 20 years. I have been on pins and needles for the past 5 years I've been reading about it... SO EXCITED for it to be here and so scared they were going to mess it up. How often do you get a truly great movie out of a truly great novel? Especially one that you've read and studied as much as I have this one? Well. Let me tell you how often. Almost never.

Until now.

This is my favorite movie of 2005. Hands down. It was... AMAZING. They were true to the story. The four children were perfect, as was the rest of the cast, especially James McAvoy (who plays Tumnus the Faun) and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch... and Jim Broadbent, who has a habit of morphing so completely into his roles that he's scarcely recognizable. The special effects were fantastic, even down to the talking animals (which most of you know is one of my great pet peeves in life). The battle scene was spectacular. The creatures were sensational. And listen. My eyes welled with tears the moment Aslan walked on screen, and stayed full for the entire rest of the movie, and that, by the way, was at least an hour.

I just re-read that paragraph and my words don't do it justice. I'm sorry... but Lord of the What? and Harry Who? This is by far the best (the best the best the best) of the British children's fantasy movies of recent days. See it. And then call me.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Drum roll please!

Welcome to Jamie's new (and hopefully improved) blog- "No day but today." Technically, it's not much different than my old blog... except that I have more control, whee!! I got some HTML pointers from a friend and am teaching myself as I go along. Let me know your thoughts. Like my Christmas snowflakes?

What's different about "No day but today" is that you have to remember to read it, since you won't get those handy reminders from Friendster. So change your bookmarks and links and come on 'round! Put up your feet and stay awhile; you're always welcome here. Another great thing is that you don't have to be a member to leave a comment, and you guys all know how much I love it when you leave comments. It lets me know someone out there is reading. *wink*

So, in case you're not aware how my office situation works... I'm in the Corporate Travel Group. This means I don't go to the office; I work on the road. My company has offices in 7 cities: Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Our corportate office is Boston. Therefore, the Corporate Travel Group is on the e-mail distribution list for the Boston office, so we can get important blast e-mails regarding MIS, Accounting, Scheduling, and whether or not there's birthday cake in the 2nd floor kitchen. (Sandy, I mean, it's CAKE!) Well today, I got this:

Someone dropped a SOCK on the stairway... If it is yours I have it at the front desk. ~Reception

Seriously. A sock? It's December. It's Boston. Why on earth would someone NOT be wearing their sock? Do you think it was attached to their pants with static cling? They just decided to sit down in the stairwell and take one off? It was being used as blackmail?

I hope it was a Christmas sock.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm overcome with couth.

Sooo, I went to the symphony tonight. All dressed up and everything. The theater is super-fancy and really ornate and beautiful, with lots of guild and red velvet. And of course a chandelier. My step-dad and I started our usual Stadler and Waldorf routine before the show, which nearly caused my mom to separate us, but we behaved (mostly) once the lights went down. I did manage to get in a completely inappropriate "oh, look, Fum, Fum, Fum 'til your daddy takes the t-bird away!" during the show.

In all seriousness, I adore the symphony, especially the Christmas music. I may have missed my calling as a concert violinist. Except the part where I'm only mediocrely talented in the musical arena. We always sit up top, 'cause we're poor, yo, but I actually like it better, because you can watch the dozens of strings' bows all move in unison, and see the feet tapping and the page turning. I love watching musicians because of all the performance arts, you can really see that a musician would rather be playing his instrument than just about anything else in the world. Oh, to be paid for something you love to do! I hear some people actually live this way. I should look into that.

The show was really good- we heard some classics, including Hallelujah Amen which is basically the Judaic equivalent of The Messiah's Hallelujah Chorus, Carol of the Bells by the Central Ohio Children's Chorus (what is more beautiful than children singing?), and John Rutter's arrangement of O Here We Come A-Wassailing, and then some new things like a gorgeous ballet set to Greensleeves, a crazy rendition of Rudolf that I actually enjoyed- it was arranged to classic composers "with apologies to Beethoven and Handel", and a new Latin piece about starlight sung acapella- man, it took me back to my choir days and how much I LOVE to sing in Latin. WOW.

They also do a fun thing where all the kids in the audience put their names in a hat and one is drawn to conduct the orchestra in Sleigh Ride. It was really cute. A third-grader won and she got the percussion whips and everything. Unfortunately, Santa had to come out and ruin the ambience with his dumb jokes about Mrs. Claus driving the sleigh (seriously, that women-can't-drive joke really never gets not-funny). I'm not anti-Santa by any means; indeed, I can barely read Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus without welling up a little, but he didn't really belong in the program, as Santa is known the world over for his jolliness and generosity, not his soaring and melodious orchestral arrangements. I'm just saying.

Tomorrow I fly, weather permitting, to our nation's capitol, where I will somehow, however small my part, aid in a conference about the Education of Young Children. I also hope to go sight-seeing; I love D.C. at Christmas.

I'm working alone for the next two weeks, so expect many updates and IM sessions. My Christmas goal this year is to buy every single present online. I'm not stepping FOOT in a store if I can help it. Think I can do it? I'll keep receipts and give you guys a percentage at the end of the year. Feel free to log your bets.

OH! PS> I booked my Christmas/New Year's airplane ticket. Into Houston 12/22, out of Dallas 01/04. You guys keep me posted on happenings (*cough*Scottie's birthday*cough*) and shindigs. Can't wait to see you all, and for longer this time.

Love, J.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thanksgiving Movie Reviews

FilmstripWhat I did on my Thanksgiving Vacation, by Jamie Hawkins.

Good Night, and Good Luck: This is a really interesting movie directed by George Clooney about the Edward Murrow and CBS uncover of Senator McCarthy's Communist conspiracy. I'm never been a huge fan of Clooney, but I adored his directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and his sophomore project is just as thrilling. I think he's a really fine director. The film is in black and white (although it was shot on color film and retouched, so it's not as dark or shadowy as old black and white movies) and stars David Stathairn (of L.A. Confidential, coincidentally, my favorite movie of all time), Robert Downey, Jr., George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, and many other familiar faces. It's smoky and jazzy (sensational soundtrack by Diana Reeves) and recalls a time when the fact that television was "being used to detract, delude, amuse, and insulate us" was a shock. Whatever you believe about George Clooney's politics (and this movie will clue you in if you're unaware), there is no denying that he is a man of uncomparable STYLE. All in all, a very interesting and enjoyable movie.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The fourth installment, and as one reviewer put it, the Empire Strikes Back of the Harry Potter Series. It's the first PG-13 chapter, and at least two characters forbode that "everything is going to change." In my personal opinion, it's not as good as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabahn (I watched 2, 3, and 4 this week), but the cinematography is amazing and it really sets up the next events in the mythology, I think. I know a lot of people are disappointed in how much was cut, and indeed, they cut a LOT of material, but it's like an 800-pg novel, people! I think they did a good job of keeping the tone and the themes of the story.

Rent: I freaking loved this movie. You must adopt a certain level of suspension of disbelief- not only because the character randomly burst into song and dance, but more because these damn-the-man Gen-X starving artists are now pushing 40. However, I think it was a good choice to use the original cast because of the fan base of the play is so rabid. Rosario Dawson and Traci Thoms are both newcomers, and I thought they were both fantastic. I didn't at all like Mimi's character in the stage production I saw, but Rosario Dawson played her with a delicacy that was really touching, and as one reviewer said, is the first actress to "render Mimi screechless." Hee. Jesse Martin, be still my heart. That eulogy scene rocked my world. I especially loved "La Vie Boheme." It kind of bothered me that they ADDED so much dialogue to the movie, it's supposed to be an opera, ie: exact lines that were sang or at least spoken in rhythm to music in the play were just said as natural speech in the movie- and I was like "did that just rhyme?" but I saw it with my cousin who had never seen it or heard the soundtrack, and she said it wasn't noticeable to her, so maybe that's a by-product of being TOO familiar with the work. Although I'll be the first to say that it's not a movie for everyone... I think the soul of Rent shone through and I can't wait to see it again.

Walk the Line: WOW. The performances in this movie were outstanding. Joaquin is SMOKIN' hot, and even though the time-worn story of how all the best cowboys have daddy issues was wonderfully told, I really thought this film was about June Carter. I don't LOVE Reese Witherspoon, but I think she's a very talented girl and she played June with a sincerity and depth that not many actresses could've pulled off. The scene where the drug store attendant admonishes her that "divorce is an abomination," she so honestly and gently says "I'm really sorry I disappointed you, ma'am" that it literally brought a tears to my eyes. Johnny Cash and June Carter had a truly great love and it was portrayed beautifully.

LOST last night was freaking AWESOME. I'm flying to Columbus today, where it is snowy and cold. Boo hoo. Tonight will be spent catching up on the last 2 weeks of House, M.D. and Desperate Housewives. I'll see you kids on the flip side. XOXOX